It was very sad to watch the video of houses in Oraifite, Anambra State, home of of Barister Ifeanyi Ejiofor set ablaze by the Nigeria police and heart wrenching to read the police attempt to justify this act of terrorism and barbarism.
So far, Barister Ejiofor’s crime is that he is the lawyer representing Nnamdi Kanu in his infamous treason trial. Now the police is trying to frame Barister Ejiofor for a crime he may not have commit, in order to justify an unlawful action they should not have taken. This is dystopic to say the least.
The fact remains that some Nigerian police men, I presume under order from above, went to Barister Ejiofor’s village and murdered at least 10 people and set several houses ablaze. This is exactly the way Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen terrorists operate.
The police then claimed that two of their members were killed without stating the circumstances. This is a heinous story and I must say that no crime by any citizen should justify such hateful, barbaric and annihilating response by a police force, which has respect for the rule of law.
Even if indeed, two policemen died in Oraifite and Barister Ifeanyi Ejiofor is a person of interest or a suspect, as the police has alleged, the police has no right to take the law into their hands to perpetrate terror on the whole village. This is collective punishment, a tactics used by the Nazis.
Nigeria is supposed to be a civil democracy under the rule of law and not a banana Republic under a tin pot dictator.
The action of the police is as unconscionable as it is unacceptable. It is unjustifiable and must be condemned by the government and the perpetrators of this crime brought justice.
Barister Ejiofor has refuted the police account and there is no evidence to doubt his account. The right thing would be for the police to take this matter to court. This is the civilised way.
It is a reign of terror, if the police can initiate an act of terror against a citizen simply because he has the courage to practice his or her profession or is suspected of a crime.
To accuse a citizen of a crime, initiate act of terror against the citizen and then have the temerity to frame the accused citizen for a crime he did not commit, must be the dark face of evil.
The crime of the Nigerian police against Mr Ejiofor is ominous, unconscionable, criminal and unlawful. The police must be held to account. The killing of a police office is a despicable and unforgivable crime, which those accused of it, must be brought to justice.
Nigerian must not continue to be a country, where the police and army are free to behave and act in the way they have been acting and behaving in Igbo land since Buhari came to power.
Nigerians must not keep quiet as usual because the victims are not from their ethnic group or share the same religion with them.
What happened in Oraifite is a crime against humanity, human dignity and civil values. Nigerians and the world must be unflinching in demanding for justice for Ifeanyi Ejiofor and the other victims of police terrorism and brutality in Oraifite and other parts of Nigeria.
Of course, if two policemen have been murdered in Oraifite, as the police claims, the police must investigate this crime and bring the perpetrators to justice.
No country should tolerate a situation where the police or army is at liberty to go on rampage and terrorise communities whenever their members are murdered or killed.
Not even if the accused is a terrorist. There is no room for the use of terror in a civilised judicial system. What i has happened in Oraifite is state sponsored terrorism against Nigerians.
If the federal government is not complicit in this crime, it should evidence this by subjecting all the police men involved in this terrorist act to justice.
The federal government should immediately set up an independent judicial commission of inquiry to investigate the allegations and actions of the police. Only this will Suffice.
I am not a supporter of IPOB. Not because I do not share their belief that Igbos are suffering state sponsored oppression in Nigeria, but because I believe that Igbos should fight for their rightful place within a true federal Nigeria by first ensuring that the best of Igbos represent Igbos in Nigeria. Secondly, I do not see how the method IPOB have adopted would deliver the outcome they seek.
Nevertheless, I have and would continue to defend the right of any ethnic group or organisation in Nigeria, including IPOB to Pursue self-determination in the way they chose.
However, no matter the foolishness or wisdom of their method, no government has the right to legitimise terror, hate or prejudice in the way the current Buhari government have done against IPOB and Igbos as a people.
Few years ago, when some Igbo NYSC youth serving in Daura went to pay Buhari a visit, instead of extolling the virtues of NYSC and how it can be used to fight toxic ethnic prejudice, Buhari gave away his prejudice against all Igbo youth as members of IPOB.
What happened in Oraifite is escalation of the reign of terror the Nigerian government has unleashed in Igbo land since it unjustly classified IPOB a terrorist group.
Since then, Nigerian police and military have been conducting extrajudicial killings of Igbo youth who they claim are members of IPOB. This is the silent genocide in Nigeria.
Not since Hitler used state powers to attack the Jews, has a government unleashed such hate and terror against a group within the country.
I have neither hesitation nor fear in condemning the federal government of Nigeria under Buhari for its complicity in the evolving genocide against Igbos in Nigeria and calling out the Nigeria police for engaging in acts of terror against Igbos in Nigeria and in Igbo land in particular.
No people can bear the kind of injustices which Igbos have endured in Nigeria(exclusion from federal infrastructure development, discriminatory conditions for getting admission into federal government institutions and jobs, subjection to military occupation, and humiliating and extortions at police, army and custom road blocks etc.) for ever, without one day fighting back, no matter how strong and formidable the oppressor.
It is clear that Buhari has institutionalized brutality and repression and the Nigerian police has become a dark force. When the aim of a police force is to commit crimes, cover them up and evade accountability that country is lost.
Today, the Nigerian police is a law unto itself. Its members can, threaten, extort and kill at will in Igbo land without consequences.
When a government is riding rough shoulder over the law as the Buhari government is doing and the police free to take the law into its own hands by committing terrorist acts as have been witnessed many times in Igbo land and now in Oraifite against Barister Ejiofor; that society has descended into the dark valley of hate, nepotism, toxic ethnic nationalism and terror.
Why should a government employ the act of terror in governance?
Why should a police force use intimidation and brutality in enforcing the law?
Is Igbo land an occupied territory or a part of Nigeria?
Why should Nigerian soldiers and policemen think it is normal to turn Igbo land into region, where they can engage in extortions extrajudicial killing and unlawful acts and behave the way they would not attempt in the north?
Where are those who are representing Igbos in Nigeria?
Where are the governor, senators and legislators?
Do they really know that it is their responsibility to stop the Nigerian government, the army and police from turning Igbo land into battle ground for their hate?
Where is the rule of law in Nigeria?
I call on Buhari to end his oppressive policies against Igbos, the Nigeria police to end its terrorist activities in Igbo land and the Nigeria army to end its occupation of Igbo land.
I fear, the light of civility and rule of law is going out in Nigeria.
By E O Eke
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